Opinion: Student Debt Relief Plan shows the hypocrisy in the American political system


Photo used with permission: Manfred Werner

A student loan protest in Vienna from 2009 shows that the debate about funding education is not exclusively American.

Josie Morrow, Views/Entertainment Section Editor

In August of 2022, President Joe Biden released the Student Debt Relief Plan which allows tens of millions of Americans to be student debt free.
Around 45 million Americans have some form of student loan debt, and starting within the next few weeks, over 20 million of them will be student loan free, as well as 43 million others who will have their student debt reduced and their unpaid monthly interest covered.
As high school students approach the college admissions process, they have to take into account the thousands of dollars of debt needed to get a degree, making a decision about a loan that could cost upwards of $50,000 before even turning 18.
According to the US Department of Education, the cost of attending college has skyrocketed – but federal support has not kept pace. It costs more than ever to go to college, and the trend is only going to continue.
Establishing that college is getting more expensive and our government is not keeping up with it, doesn’t it only make sense to have the government help those people who are its responsibility to protect?
With the Biden administration announcing this plan came a wave of pushback in the federal government from both political parties. The main issues have to do with how government money is being spent on something that it shouldn’t be, or that this was a frivolous endeavor for the government to care about.
However, our politicians do a lot of frivolous things to their own benefit.
It is estimated that around two-thirds of Congress took money from pharmaceuticals (Pfizer, Amgen, etc) towards their campaigns in 2020. This allows these companies to be able to keep the drugs that they sell at unregulated rates because of the money that they give to politicians to vote for them.
On top of that, in 2018, around $84 million was pumped into the midterm election campaigns from large oil companies. This allowed these companies to lay off 60,000 people during the Covid-19 pandemic, claim $8.2 billion under the Cares Act and still make record profits.
These campaign checks from large corporations lead to the congressional candidates they fund bailing them out whenever they hit a rough spot. The real question is: why is bailing out the American middle class when they hit a rough spot so controversial?

The real question is: why is bailing out the American middle class when they hit a rough spot so controversial?

The United States government needs to shift towards a government that takes care of the needs of the people it vows to protect. The fact that it is controversial to release middle-class Americans from their student loan debt shows the gaping holes in our democracy, especially when our elected officials choose profit over our health and safety every single day that they take money from corporations with hostile intentions.